I’m not sure at what point I first decided that I liked art, or even if I decided. Every child creates paintings when they’re little that are cherished by adoring parents. But for me it became something serious, naturally.
One of our early childhood homes was situated on the main strip of the arts center in Christchurch. We lived directly across from the creative hub, and every weekend there were markets and stalls on the weekend.
I would sometimes have a stall of my own, dragging our coffee table onto the curb infant of our house, I would string up paintings like a washing line and sell them for 20 cents each. And people bought them. I wonder if any of those pictures survived and are hanging on strangers walls somewhere…
Though it is at first terrifying to share your work, I love when people consider and discuss my work. I enjoy hearing people talk about what they think it means, or what it means to them. That my work might strike debate or evoke feeling in others. For me, that is such a high.
When I started High School I picked up art as a subject. I was ecstatic to be able to spend school time painting, and to get marked on it. I was young and naive and thought I was pretty good. Ahhh the naive bliss. I was not the best in the class, not by a long shot. It was my first insight into competition, and that there was a whole world of artists out there, who intended to make it as I did.
High School art taught me several things. It improved my technique, making me think about light, and proportion, and not to shade by smudging. It opened up the world of movements, and periods in art to me. And highlighted different artists styles, and consequently made me question what mine was.
And it taught me that art is subjective, and will not necessarily be appreciated by everyone. Your teacher may not like your work, not because it is bad, but because they personally do not like it.
Having a new idea is hard. With so many millions of others to compete with, how can you know that someone else isn’t doing the same thing. There used to be a notion of shocking people. This doesn’t seem happen so much anymore.
Something I’ve learned about myself it I tend to shy away from conflict and confrontation, I find it hard to tell people what I really think, but I find I can do this much better through art.
My work is about my insecurities, my fears, my wishes. I attempt to show another side of myself, one that doesn’t always make sense, one that perhaps isn’t as likeable.
My style continues to evolve, I’ve finally come to the realisation that it will continue to do so.